"So, what time does the game start?"
"So, are we meeting somewhere to watch the game?"
The question itself was not really out of the ordinary. What was out of the ordinary was the source. See, as far as I knew, up to that point I was talking with Mrs. Martini on the phone.
But, honestly, I was caught off-guard. After all, Mrs. Martini understands that I am the worst kind of hockey fan, and have been for about 20 years, starting with the first game I ever saw, which was a game between the Boston Bruins and the Montréal Canadiens.
However, this is also the same woman who very recently proclaimed to some mutual friends, "He follows like five teams, in order to guarantee that he gets to watch hockey through mid-June every year."
For the record, she does embellish that figure slightly. There are only three teams for which I will set placeholders in my calendar to not miss any Stanley Cup Final game. Those are Columbus (obviously, I have yet to experience that joy), Boston (this is my first time) and Colorado. Otherwise, yes... I would probably watch the finals anyway, but I wouldn't go out of my way, unless it was to watch Detroit lose.
However, she loves to bust my chops about it, and for the most part I let her have her fun.
So, when I hear this woman on the other end asking me if we're meeting up to watch the game somewhere… well, you can understand why I felt the need to check my phone to make sure I was still talking to the wife.
And then it occurred to me. Something that crossed my mind as Mrs. Martini and I were watching the postgame after Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
I'm strongly sensing that Mrs. Martini has a little crush on Tim Thomas.
Now, I will admit I probably did not have a lot to offer for proof. However, she did comments on how well spoken and even eloquent Thomas was during his post game interview.
"He's either taking PR classes, or he's inately well-spoken."
I didn't think too much of that comment by itself. After all, I figured the only precedent she had a in terms of off-ice comments by anyone not in a Columbus Blue Jackets uniform, was when noted NHL ladies' man Sean Avery made his "sloppy seconds" comment a couple years back.
However, it suddenly hit me… Wait a minute. Mrs. Martini never listens to off ice comments by hockey players, Columbus or otherwise.
The only way she would ever hear a hockey player say anything, would be if it was on NPR. And somehow, I seriously doubt that would happen.
So, maybe I'm a little disturbed by this, but I don't think I've committed to feeling threatened just yet.
I am watching you, though, Thomas.
Okay, I'm kidding. But the wife is acting weird.
But she's watching, so I'll let it slide for now.
If she starts swooning over him like a couple of our friends do over Antoine Vermette, we may have to start just listing to games on the radio.
At least she's cheering for the right team.
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